Death of Dreams or Desire to Dream

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I heard a man once years ago tell about how death of our dreams was an inevitable time of life.  I remember thinking at the time about all the dreams that had died…that was close to 30 years ago and I have watched so many more dreams die since then.

You would think as life was just starting I would have had so many more dreams that were being made.  I guess I did have some. I loved having six children.  I loved fulfilling my dream of educating them apart from this world’s philosophy (as much as humanly possible).  I loved marrying a man who would be true to me and to our children, working hard even when everything we touched seemed to turn to ashes.  I found some wonderful times in those early years….but I also had to let go of some of my dreams like…

*having my mom around when I had children to encourage me and teach me and love on them

*having my dad as a constant source of protection and security

* having family close so we could take our children and give them a sense of family

* having good health so I could carry out my duties as wife, mother and pastor’s wife with energy, vitality and joy

*Having a thriving ministry where we were loved and made deep connecting friendships

Today?  What did I want so long ago that hasn’t come to pass?  I thought things would be easier by now.  I thought I’d be neck deep in ministry.  I thought we’d have at least a little bit of this world’s goods so we could visit family. I thought I would have opportunities… that have gone to others.  I thought I could be near my own children and their children to encourage and love on them.  I thought my children would enjoy being with me so much that they would seek every opportunity to be with us…this is actually funny…I’m not a very likable person.  I’m not the life of the crowd.  I’m not a doting sweet person who everyone wants to be around because they make you feel like a million bucks.  Come to think of it, I don’t know anyone like that.  But I grew up on The Osmond Family Christmas specials and Bob Hope’s Christmas Special.  When I was growing up, I was a part of a large family and I was the last child of the Grandma and Grampa that everyone wanted to spend Christmas with.  I missed that for my children and thought, “Oh well, when they grow up and we bring everyone home for Christmas, it will be like that.”   It hasn’t worked out that way.  Either the in laws take up all their time or they can’t afford to come…so Christmas and holidays have become very lonely where I remember all the good times when the children were small and gifts plentiful because God provided…not big expensive gifts…but gifts that meant something and we spent hours playing the games or putting together Legos or watching videos and snacking all day long with everyone around us.

I guess in my own way I have lost the desire to dream. What’s the point? This life has nothing to offer that I think it can deliver. We aren’t the Italian family that blows up and just continues to love anyway and goes to Grammy’s house every Sunday because if we didn’t she’d blow her top. I don’t blow my top…I just quietly sit with my hubby wishing the kids would come…and the grandkids….

I think what really spurred this on is we went to visit a family with a lot of teens…all their friends were there to picnic, swim, play carpet ball…and I miss that. I miss those days so much. :(

So my advice? lol Don’t ask me. I don’t know what it is to have a lot of fulfilled dreams…just ones that died somewhere along the way. But … if you are that young couple with children…enjoy them. You may be that family down the road that gets together all the time…or you may end up like us…alone on the holidays wondering how to make them special…without the babies you rocked and hugged and loved and woke up with all those years…when you were too tired to dream any further.

I don’t want to end this so scarily real and sad. At least I know someday in Heaven we will have all of them with us. They will want to celebrate there…birthdays together like we used to, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving. We’ll have an eternity there.

So when someone says to me, “Maybe they will come back someday.” And my heart says “No…that will never happen” because it is too tired to dream…I will remember that my hope and dreams may only be in the afterlife…but that’s just a few short years away and I can dream of then.

A Letter of Promises To My Grandchildren

Grammy & Caleb

Dear Ones,

Someday you will read this and understand why Grammy was the way she was.  I can see it in your eyes today that you don’t understand.  You desire for Grammy to be all fun and games and always giving in to your every whim.  You see even as tiny babies I didn’t give in to you.  I love you too much for that.  It is my desire that some day you will be such bright and shining stars reflecting the love of the Savior that you are a wonderful addition to His kingdom and bring many with you.

I promise you that I do love you…more than life.  My tears have often been prayed to my Savior for your salvation and for your obedient lives to Him.  I promise that when you refuse to take a nap, I’ll make you…because you need one whether you know it or not.  I promise that when you abuse your mama and daddy that I will reprimand you.  You are not God and the fact that they don’t give in to your worship is your first step to realizing that and that you need a Savior much bigger and more able to meet your needs than you ever will be.  I promise that when you disobey me I will be swift and final with your rebuke.  You must learn to obey the authorities in your life.  This is why our world is in the state it is in today.  Even grown ups must learn to obey someone…and many don’t…and we all suffer.

So, yes, I do love you…and we will have tickle fights.  I will read you books because TV will suck your brain cells out of your head and especially what they have on today for children’s shows.  Will we watch movies together?  Yes.  But be prepared for lessons along the way of the truth and untruth of what you are watching.  I will not allow you to believe lies as much as it is in my ability to keep you from them.  I will play good music for you…about Jesus…from the Great Composers…worship music…fun music…because to love music is a wonderful part of life.

Right now…Grammy is the bad guy most of the time.  That’s okay.  It’s because I love you too much to allow you to stay babies and not grow or mature or call out the best in you.  You have abilities far beyond who you now desire to be…and I will call out your best qualities.  You will get tired of hearing me say the same things over and over because you didn’t listen the first time.  I will not nag…I will teach and train and teach and train.  Come to think of it that’s why your mama or papa are who they are today.  I spent endless hours training and they have become wonderful people who love Jesus.  Learn to listen…you’ll be listening the rest of your lives.  Learn to be kind and think of others before yourself.  Learn to tell yourself “no” so others don’t have to.  Learn to distinguish between good, better and best…and choose the best.

I love you little ones…and even when it seems like Grammy’s the big meany…know my heart.

Gram

Fitting In

It seems my whole life I’ve been trying to “fit in.”  As a child I was the youngest in the class beginning Kindergarten when I was four…a whole three months before I would turn five.  I thrived in school; except socially.  I think I’ve been stunted in that area the rest of my life.  I was shy around boys forever it seems.  Now, I prefer talking with men.  Let me rephrase that.  I usually prefer to talk to men. I don’t feel the judgment or the attitudes that sometimes us women throw around at one another.  From time to time I sense being “set aside” by the male company like my opinions don’t matter, but unfortunately, I find that most in church settings amongst male leadership.

Tonight at my Counseling training class we broke up into groups…teams of four we will be with for many months and years ahead.  We had to share about how we came to Christ.  That was easy.  He’s done so much for me and has been my all for so many years.  Our team of four was only three tonight and the other two women have had very different lives from mine.  I could tell they clicked with one another.  I trust that my counseling pastor and Holy Spirit know who I need to be in a group with so I’m tentatively hopeful that at some point God will show me my part of fitting in.  I can see areas I’ve struggled in that I could help them with…but they are fellow counselors…not Life Care Recipients.  They haven’t come to me for wisdom or help…just friendship.  That’s the part I find difficult.  All of my friends over the years have fallen away.  My best friends from high school gave me up a short two years after graduation.  My best friends from college it took a bit longer…but other than facebook stalking me…they don’t really have any input in my life and haven’t been there for me for many, many years.  One of the statements made tonight came in the form of a question and answer.  “How do you know who your real friends are?”  “They are the ones when you are hurting who stand at your door and knock.”  I looked sadly at my husband and said, “Wow…that doesn’t bode well for us, does it?”

I wonder sometimes if it’s me since so many have left me over the years.  I mean, I see women laughing and chatting together in stores and restaurants all the time.  But I’m incapable of empathizing and small talk that other women enjoy so much.  I’m pretty serious.  I love a good joke and chuckle a lot to myself.  Maybe I’m insane. :D  But life is so short I have a hard time not being real with people and most women don’t like that I guess.  I’ve mentioned before that I take a lot before I say anything…but there comes a point when someone is bellyaching or constantly harping or gossiping that I have to say…enough….and that’s when it comes.

I wonder if the same will be true of these women…my team.  Will they come to love me?  Will we come to love each other and our differences and gifts we bring to the table?  Will I ever fit in?  Am I really made for this counseling thing?  I am a truth sayer.  I must trust that God knows that and is able to bring just the right people my way who need my gifts.  I was once kicked out of youth group leaders (as the youth pastor’s wife) because other leaders didn’t want me in there … my friends….my peers.  I cried so hard that day and went to the pier to contemplate whether life was worth living if I couldn’t minister where my heart was.  I learned another hard lesson…in that death of my dream and vision…that God’s journey for me …if I submit…is much easier to bear and worth far more than my dream…but if I fight it….He will still take me down that road…with me kicking and clawing all the way…but with no peace for me.  If I desire peach…I must trust…and I must listen well to His voice…and submit to His plan…whether or not I fit in…ever.

“Human tragedies:  We all want to be extraordinary and we all just want to fit in.  Unfortunately, extraordinary people rarely fit in.” Sebastyne Young 

haha  You read things like that and it gives a reason…so I must be extraordinary because I don’t fit in…oh my….I wish it were true…I think it is more that God knows if I were to fit in…I could not give Him glory quite as well.  I must trust that He knew that when He made me.  I am extraordinary to Him and that’s all that matters.

John 14:14-16 “You are My friends if you do what I command you. “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.…”

The Robot

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I got called a robot yesterday…told I was not humane.  You see, I’m a pretty black and white person…if you give me directions or a guideline I work within that guideline.  I don’t believe you give in to people because they yell loudly…in fact, if they yell loudly then I believe you should never give in to them.  You will get much more from me with a sweet respectful demeanor than you will from pushing yourself around and acting like you are nine.

I don’t know why this guy got me so upset yesterday.  Like everyone, I like to be liked, but really in all actuality I couldn’t care less if this guy liked me.  I did feel like I let my bosses down since they were the ones who overturned my decision and threw me under the bus so to speak…but in all actuality I’m not really working for them either.  I work for Jesus.  He has asked me at this point in my life to serve Him by working at Texwipe and so I do…I don’t like it.  I would much rather be at home, cooking, sewing, crocheting, learning more about God and His Word, volunteering in my church, making my grandkids things…but He’s asked me to be the major breadwinner right now and my husband has worked so hard for so many years doing that…I need to do what I can at this stage in my life to help out.  I find I have to work on my attitude every day…I talk myself through the day…”you can do this”…”one step at a time” …. “it’s only for a season.”  You know the drill.  “You can do anything for a season…as long as you know there will be an end someday.”  My husband has told my kids that for years…while they were in college…complaining…you can do it…it’s not forever.

I think it’s the meanness of humanity that gets me.  I’ve been pretty sheltered over the years.  I’ve seen meanness…all you have to do is read my other blogs and you know that…but I never understand it.  My mom taught me that if I couldn’t say anything nice to not say anything at all. I’m quiet a lot!  As a matter of fact I put up with things for a very long time…others tell me too long…but when I do try to straighten things out…that’s when I get in trouble.  “Hurting people hurt people” only goes so far.  Can I pray for this guy?  Yes…but my first reaction is to just hunker down and work hard and keep my head down.  I keep wondering what I say to him the next time he calls or writes…”Sorry, bud, I’m too much of a robot…guess you’ll have to call someone else who has a brain.”  Maybe I should sing the scarecrow song from the wizard of oz…”If I only had a brain…” lol  I do, though.  I have a brain…and that’s why I didn’t give in to this man.  He pushes and shoves and thinks he deserves special treatment…and I’m too much of a mom to let him get away with that.  I want to slap his hand and say, “Now, sweetie, go to your room and think about how badly you’ve behaved today….and don’t come out until you can play nice.”  Why is it that there are men and women who act like they are nine and never seem to grow up and become adults?  Why are there people who never mature enough to think of someone besides themselves?  I am well aware of the sinful depravity of man…and I shouldn’t be surprised by it in this world….that’s why God had to send Jesus into this world…I guess I just don’t want to be reminded.

I’m tired of the mentality that “You always do this except…”  Why can’t life be more of “You always do this.”  I’m not beyond the exceptions; but when you tell me one thing…don’t go back on it.  When you say we’re a team then act like a team.  When you say we always do things this way then ALWAYS do things that way…don’t make exceptions for the loudest brat out there…don’t make exceptions because someone is pushing their way around…and then not make an exception for the nice guy.  You’ve just created your monster.  So I guess he’s right in a way…I’m a robot.  I’m robotic in my ability or inability to work with difficult people.  He’s the EGR customer…”Extra Grace Required”…you’d think I’d be an expert at dealing with those people after so many years in churches…but I’m not.  I’m the compliant child…the one who does right because she doesn’t want to make waves….  I’ve never understood the rebellious child.  I still don’t understand the rebellious adult…the one who is told something at work and decides not to do it or to do it in spite of what they are told.  I don’t go there…if someone tells me to initial every time I do something, I feel guilt if I forget. lol  If I get in trouble for doing what I was told, it sends me in a tailspin…I’m not one for language…but in this case…if you are “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” then what’s the point?

I’m not sure this “soapbox” episode has really sharpened my point this morning as I get ready for work.  I dread it.  It’s a good part of my life right now…so to dread a good part of your life…is that all there is to look forward to?  Uh oh…we’re getting back to the Ecclesiastes post. lol  I guess this is just a reminder that we are broken people in a broken world.  I don’t like it.  I don’t have to like it.  But I have to live in it….I just wish I could get beyond just “living” and “thrive” in it.

“Great wickedness…only evil…no one who understands…worthless…open graves…deceit…poison…cursing and bitterness…swift to shed blood…ruin and misery….no fear of God…subjected to frustration…bondage to decay…groaning…struggle…this dark world…evil.  Perhaps you are so familiar with these verses that it is difficult to see their unflinching realism.  But each of these passages is honest about what you and I will encounter as we live in a world that is not operating as it was designed to operate.”  Broken Down House – Paul David Tripp